I have a tendency to be a tenacious person. I give and give and go and go until I have no more gas in my brain tank. I am an extremely energetic passionate human being with a lot of feelings. I don’t have the ability to regulate that passion at times. It comes out of me, seeping out of my pores. I don’t know if there’s something “wrong” with me or what’s happening, but I do know that I am someone who gives her all to things. I give everything I have to relationships, friendships, causes I believe in and things that I am passionate about. When I love you, I love you. When I believe in your causeĀ I’ll fight for it. That’s who I am and who I’ve always been.

I’m afraid to stop. Go, go, go, fight the opponent, once I’m in that mode where I want to be heard my voice gets louder and louder. And the more invisible I feel, the more I persist in trying to get the other person to hear me. Feeling invisible or unheard makes so angry and I don’t know how to cope with that level of anger, even in therapy. It triggers my PTSD and I’m having trouble understanding what’s happening with me, I feel upset, resentful, “crazy,” and misunderstood. I want to speak louder so you can hear me, but the more I raise my voice the more that you ignore me, which (in turn) makes me feel angry and unsupported.

After a while of expressing feeling after feeling to the point of shouting or vehemently being demonstrative using my hands to show you where I’m feeling that particular feeling in my body, I start to feel like I can’t lift my arms anymore. My body begins to feel heavy, and I can’t support myself. I can’t hear myself talk anymore because the words are all running together and I don’t know what they mean. I want to be heard but it doesn’t feel like anyone cares and what’s the point of speaking so loudly if there’s no one to actually listen? I don’t know who would care anyway. My anger is something I’ve hidden for so long that I’ve forgotten it existed until it sneaks out of the box in the basement of my brain where I’ve hidden it.

It’s not the kind of emotions I’m feeling, but rather the intensity level of them. When I feel deeply and can’t shake those feelings, my body eventually gets run down. I start to cry and I’m not entirely sure why I’m crying. I am exhausted, spent, and want to hide in a dark room. I’ve given everything I have to someone else and I left nothing for myself. Imagine you baked a cake and handed out all the slices. There were none left for you. You would likely feel good about being generous, but a little sad and resentful that you had no cake for yourself. That’s how I feel after I give and give and give to people and don’t take care of myself. I need to remember that I have boundaries and limitations and I need to rest. I don’t like the word self-care, but that’s what it boils down to: I must take care of myself.

Do you work yourself to the point of exhaustion?